March 17, 2018

Nashville Mayor Megan Barry Resigns After Pleading Guilty To Theft

07 March 2018, 07:42 | Erma Lawrence

Nashville mayor who admitted affair with bodyguard expected to resign

Sources: Nashville mayor expected to resign

Barry's political career was abruptly upended on January 31, when she admitted to engaging in an affair with Forrest, the head of her security detail and a 31-year officer on the Metro Nashville Police force.

But she stepped down March 6 and pleaded guilty to a theft charge, according to an Associated Press report. He called Barry "a friend" and said he hoped she would be able to move past "a disgusting moment" in her life.

For much of her time in office, Forrest, who lead the mayor's police security detail, was a regular presence with Barry during out-of-town city trips.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation had been investigating Barry's relationship with Forrest since the married mayor confirmed this year the two had an affair in 2016. Experts say that isn't up to her. She has said the relationship is over but has not disclosed when it ended.

She worked as an ethics and compliance officer in private business.

"It has been my honor and it has been the privilege of my entire professional life to have the blessing and the opportunity to be your mayor", Barry told reporters following Tuesday's court appearance, concluding, "I love you Nashville".

The affidavit also said the TBI has found 260 deleted chats between Forrest's phone and Barry's phone number as well as 35 deleted call logs.

Forrest was the only city employee on at least 10 taxpayer-funded trips with the mayor from the middle of 2016 through 2017 - a period in which the couple were having an affair.

Barry's admission followed the loss of the Barrys' only child, Max, in July after an overdose on a combination of drugs, including opioids.

Barry was elected to Metro Council in 2007 and served until 2015 when she won the mayoral race. Furthermore, Barry will receive three years unsupervised probation.

Forrest also pleaded guilty to felony theft and will have to reimburse $45,000 that he was paid for time that he was actually spending with Barry, according to court documents.

As a supporter of Megan Barry's work within her time in office, Maren Morris expressed her grief over the situation going on in Music City.

Barry, who took office in 2015, was a liberal darling, with a Vanderbilt University poll showing her approval rating at 61 percent even after admitting to the affair.

"I have lots of work to do in this city and every day I get up and I do it", she said.

The Nashville paper reports that Barry's departure will elevate Vice Mayor David Briley to the job of acting mayor. He will serve in that role until an August 2 election.

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